Best Tank that Never Was - Part 3!

Would it be too late to join with the M41 “Sales Demonstrator/Tool” I have in progress?

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I would think so. Didn’t Tom say to post in here, as the campaign manager it’s his call.

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Hi Russel,

It’s never too late! Post a few pics of progress so far, and a link to the other thread for the rest of the pics/story! Then be sure to add more pics as you go - especially “completion” pics so I know you made it over the line at the end. Welcome to the dusty lot of “Could have been” tanks!

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Super, will do!

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Here’s my inspiration.
IMG_4293 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
Credit to Fred Crismon’s book “US Military Tracked Vehicles”. It’s full of pics like this of one-offs and oddballs. Link to the build so far is this: A one-off M41
Is this the right thread so start progress posts? If so, here I go.
I have taken some liberties with the M41 since at the time I started this I had no idea it was actually done more than once. I’m debating pulling another M41 out of the stash and using it, but I really, really lilke what I’ve got so far. I’ll leave it up to the powers that be.
So to press on: after looking at what I had for the turret and the pics posted by the ever-gracious Armorama crowd, I did some more work, getting the turret side walls built up a bit and adding the cut-out for the main sight. Progress as of tonight:
IMG_4287 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
IMG_4288 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
And old mantlet (with cutout) and new:
IMG_4291 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
I got a bit smart and used the piece of the nose I removed to build the mantlet from, smartest thing I’ve done so on this build so far. The turret walls are now two layers of .040" card stock, as is the roof. There’s a lot of bracing inside, should be strong enough to withstand cutting the holes for the hatches and stuff.

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I like the way it looks so far -that turret is so aggressive! Your reworking of the fenders is stunning.

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Last few nights have been very productive. I got the mantlet built up, did the “bulge” where the TC’s hatch is and shot primer to see how it looked in one color. I was not displeased, so I did some more sanding and filling, ginned up a mount for the mantlet and fudged a gun tube. It looks a little top-heavy, but still about the same as the pics. I think I have an idea for the gun tube and muzzle brake, but the stuff on the turret roof (hatches, commander’s sight, etc) is a bit of a mystery.
In the pic below, near as I can tell, that’s the correct overall length for the gun tube.
IMG_4297 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
Below, where I think the hatches need to go:
IMG_4299 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
Edit: Am I posting in the right place or am I the only one posting so far?

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Impressive scratch building, Russel. Looking forward to see more. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hi Russel, you’re the first off the blocks! (I’m sorting something else out at the moment so may be a month behind starting mine.)

That’s crazy-good work there! I wonder how they counterbalanced the weight of the snout and gun - were there big weights on the rear wall of the turret? Can’t wait to see how this progresses.

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My guess would be it suffered from “Panther Syndrome”.

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Well I had a thought: since this turret/hull combination actually happened at least twice, why not build it like the first pic I saw, that is on an un-modified M41. Then I could use the hull I’ve shown so far on something else, maybe another enhanced M41. So I pulled my last Tamiya M41 out and started on a hull, doing just some basic enhancements like filling holes and re-doing the very basic exhaust. It took a couple of hours to get this far:
IMG_4308 by Russel Baer, on Flickr
I’ve got kit tracks on it for the moment, something better is on the way. I have a couple other bits in the spares boxes that will help and I’ll fix some other stuff like the lousy headlight guards.

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Still looks good, even with the basic Tamiya hull.

OK then I gotta ask - what will you do with the other hull?

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Good question. I have considered a modernized M41 turret and a Marksman AA turret, but I’m in no hurry.
For now.

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Awesome job, your work is great! :grin:

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M41 Marksman? I like the sound of that!

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Great build, Russel! Any thoughts on color schemes yet?

Looking forward to see more! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I suppose I have a choice of green or green. The Squadron book on the M41 has a large pic of this thing that I may be able to get an idea of markings from, or there may be none as it was a private venture. The Thai example appears to have the turret mounted with some sort of adapter, making it appear to be raised off the hull which I could probably still do, and then I could do the two tone camouflage on the turret and a plain green hull. Right now I’m leaning towards all green.

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Well, basic green makes some sense, but the idea of jazzing it up by giving the turret a “fresh” paintjob and the hull a scruffy faded OD has its appeal. Personally I’d go for the more visually interesting option…

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Hey, hey. Coming aboard with a Takom T30/T34 American heavy tank.

After shelving all my open projects about a week ago, I looked through the closet and decided to build this because it looks cool and easy. It was my intention to skip this campaign but since the T30 qualifies and my deck is suddenly clear…change of plans.

After washing all the parts and letting them dry for a few hours, I started cutting. The picture above was taken at the end of Day 1. Suspension arms are installed on one side.

This picture was taken last night at the end of Day 2. So far, fit is good. When installing suspension arms, they can waggle a bit on the yaw axis. The model designer should have made the mounting pegs deeper. Some small parts have pegs that need trimming. Fitting the rear plate gave me some trouble. It needs a little putty where the glacis plate meets the side walls. Fenders are very thick and each features 8 shallow ejector pin marks that need sanding out. This requires significant effort.

Molding quality is good but not Dragon or Tamiya quality. Sprue attachment points are heavy. Plastic is soft, akin to a MiniArt kit. So far, one part snapped. Testor’s Liquid Cement is very aggressive on this plastic.

Once the yaw problem is understood, suspension parts align extremely well. The kit includes two jigs for aligning suspension arms but they are not needed. Fit of road wheels to suspension arms is very solid.

According to online reviews, accuracy is pretty good. As stated earlier, I am going for easy and fun so don’t expect any grunt work. My tank will be a T30 in olive drab. The model does not come with serial numbers or markings for test vehicles. Instead, it comes with some useless markings someone made up. To my knowledge, survivors do not bear markings of any kind so I may go that route.

So far, the model is doing what I need it to do–be easy and fun.

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Hi Doug, welcome aboard! That’s a great choice - I built their T29E3 and loved it.

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